Daily Zohar # 3481 – Lech Lecha – The beauty of Sarah
113. אִמְרִי נָא אֲחֹתִי וגו’. רַבִּי יֵיסָא אָמַר, יוֹדֵעַ הָיָה אַבְרָהָם שֶׁכָּל הַמִּצְרִים שְׁטוּפִים הֵם בְּזִמָּה, וְכֵיוָן שֶׁכָּל זֶה יָדַע, לָמָּה לֹא פָחַד עַל אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא חָזַר מִן הַדֶּרֶךְ וְלֹא יִכָּנֵס לְשָׁם? אֶלָּא מִשּׁוּם שֶׁרָאָה עִמָּהּ שְׁכִינָה.
114. וַיְהִי כְּבוֹא אַבְרָם מִצְרָיְמָה וַיִּרְאוּ הַמִּצְרִים אֶת הָאִשָּׁה כִּי יָפָה הִוא מְאֹד. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה, הִכְנִיס אוֹתָהּ בְּתֵבָה, וּפָתְחוּ אוֹתָהּ לָקַחַת מִמֶּנָּה מֶכֶס. כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּפְתַּח, הָיָה אוֹר כְּאוֹר הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ. זֶהוּ שֶׁכָּתוּב כִּי יָפָה הִוא מְאֹד.
115. מַה זֶּה מְאֹד? אֶלָּא שֶׁרָאוּ בַּתֵּבָה דְּמוּת [נ”א אוֹר] אַחֶרֶת. הוֹצִיאוּ אוֹתָהּ וְרָאוּ אוֹתָהּ כְּבַתְּחִלָּה. זֶהוּ שֶׁכָּתוּב וַיִּרְאוּ אֹתָהּ שָׂרֵי פַרְעֹה. כֵּיוָן שֶׁכָּתוּב וַיִּרְאוּ הַמִּצְרִים אֶת הָאִשָּׁה, מַה זֶּה וַיִּרְאוּ אֹתָהּ שָׂרֵי פַרְעֹה? אֶלָּא שֶׁהוֹצִיאוּ אוֹתָהּ וְרָאוּ אוֹתָהּ כְּבַתְּחִלָּה, וְאָז וַיְהַלֲלוּ אֹתָהּ אֶל פַּרְעֹה וגו’.
Zohar Lech Lecha
“אִמְרִי נָא אֲחֹתִי אָתְּ לְמַעַן יִיטַב לִי בַעֲבוּרֵךְ וְחָיְתָה נַפְשִׁי בִּגְלָלֵךְ.”
“Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.”
There are two meanings to the words Abraham said to his wife, Sarah. The first one is literal, and the second like we read in Proverbs 7:4
“אֱמֹר לַחָכְמָה אֲחֹתִי אָתְּ וּמֹדָע לַבִּינָה תִקְרָא.”
“Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” And call understanding your nearest kin,”
‘That it may be well with me’ is Abraham’s words to the Shechina, so the Holy One Blessed be He be good to him.
‘that I may live because of you’ is the reason why Abraham had his strange request. He knew that with that he will elevate himself on the path of life because the Light of Chokmah is called the light of life.
Rabbi Yesa said that Abraham knew that Egypt is full of adultery and lust, yet he didn’t fear for his wife and went back home because he saw that the Shechina is with her.
“וַיְהִי כְּבוֹא אַבְרָם מִצְרָיְמָה וַיִּרְאוּ הַמִּצְרִים אֶת הָאִשָּׁה כִּי יָפָה הִוא מְאֹד.”
“So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful.”
Rabbi Yehuda says that Abraham put Sarah in a trunk. When the Egyptians opened it to collect tax, they saw a bright light, like the light of the sun. This comes from the verse “the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful”.
“וַיִּרְאוּ אֹתָהּ שָׂרֵי פַרְעֹה וַיְהַלְלוּ אֹתָהּ אֶל פַּרְעֹה וַתֻּקַּח הָאִשָּׁה בֵּית פַּרְעֹה.”
“The officials of Pharaoh saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house.”
In the previous verse, we read “the Egyptians saw the woman” and the following verse says “The officials of Pharaoh saw her”. The Zohar explains that the ‘Egyptians’ saw the beauty of Sarah and took her with the trunk to the ‘Officials’ of Pharaoh. They took her out of the trunk and saw that her beauty is as it was when she was in the trunk. They understood that Sarah is on a higher level and took her to Pharaoh.
In the trunk was the Light of Chassadim that protected Sarah. Out of the trunk, Sarah kept her ‘beauty’ because she had the Shechina with her.